I have managed to install crunchbang onto at least 5 computers, old and new, without any major or even minor problems. It is a very solid and reliable distro. I use it as my own stable setup and am very happy with it.
However when it comes to my daughter's dell inspiron 1525 crunchbang failed to install. There is a crackling sound when installing followed by an error message informing that the installation has failed. This seems to confirm my view that some hardware just doesn't work with this particular setup.
Other distros (Mint xfce, xubuntu) failed to connect to ethernet or wireless (wicd!), Slitaz either had no sound or no connection depending on version, in cb statler "enter" on the touchpad didn't respond; In Mint 7 program windows could not be recovered after minimizing etc. The list is endless.
I have now resorted to an install of Mint 8 and keeping fingers crossed that all will work. Otherwise I may feel tempted to recycle this piece of plastic and metal before its time.
Have you tried some other non-Ubuntu distros like Zenwalk or Fedora?
Yes perhaps Fedora would be worth a try or Zenwalk even. Thanks for the suggestions.